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Pictures Illustrate the State of North Carolina Fisheries

Seafood Month 2017

By: E-Ching Lee, North Carolina Sea Grant

If a picture is worth a thousand words, perhaps a picture also is worth years of data.

In a collaborative effort, North Carolina Sea Grant developed a series of graphics to help North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) counterparts present fisheries statistics to various audiences.

DMF collects data from commercial harvesters and dealers to generate statistics on the types of species and quantities landed, as well as the size, weight and age distribution of harvested species. From these landings reports, for example, DMF can determine when a particular species might show up in state waters and result in more accurate season openings — or closings.



2016 Commercial Landings


2016 commercial landings by dollar value compared with the five-year — 2011 to 2015 — average.



2016 Recreational Landings


2016 recreational landings by dollar value compared with the five-year — 2011 to 2015 — average.



Landings Data Submitted


Average number of dealers and fishermen submitting landings data, 2012-2016.

“This information enables DMF to extrapolate how many fish are being caught monthly. The data can be used to understand the wide range of recreational angling efforts, allowing for estimates of fish harvested and released, and number of angler trips. Scientists even can use these data in population models to determine fishing mortality related to saltwater angling activities,” adds Sara Mirabilio, Sea Grant fisheries specialist in Manteo.

Stephanie McInerny, DMF license and statistics section chief, plans to share the slides at Marine Fisheries Commission meetings, post them at DMF offices and use them as handouts.

More information about seasonal seafood can be found at

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